Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge Tour!

Diya Liu from In Her Stilettos and University of Texas

We made it!  23 days, 4 college towns, 56 models, 4 featured students and ONE soon to be winner!  In the very first event series of its kind, we hit the road with the girls from Marie Claire™ and LOFT® in pursuit of fashion, talent and the next generation of power girls – with Marie Claire™ Front Row College Challenge.  Students  Elysia Mann from Penn State , Breanne Palmeri from University of Delaware,  Abigail Hardin from University of Alabama and Diya Liu from The University of Texas at Austin were chosen out of thousands of entries, as finalists in this cutting-edge  competition.  (Check out their full bio’s here!)

The girls were charged with styling 14 unique looks using the Fall 2011 collection from LOFT®, and makeup from Rimmel Cosmetics, for a full-scale fashion show at each of their universities.  May the most talented fashionista win!

The Prize:  A coveted internship with both Marie Claire™ and LOFT® in the summer of 2012!

We worked hand in hand with Marie Claire and the students to find a unique venue in each location that best represented the finalists’ (and towns’!) distinct personalities – and then we transformed it.  Fashion Week – eat your heart out!

Our first stop on the tour was Penn State.  We found a brand new, untapped, raw space: Sozo Institute of the Arts.

Elysia Mann at the Sozo Institute of Arts for Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge

Our Caravents team draped the entire space, elevated the seating areas, decaled the outside windows and uplight the room for some moody vibes as guest entered.

The Caravents Inc. team draping and stage elevation for Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge

Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge Window Decal

Nina Garcia at the Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge

To incorporate the 30ft runway, our team built up and over the central existing seating with 4×8’ stage pieces.

Caravents Marie Claire™ Draping and Stage elevation

In Tuscaloosa, along side the Historical Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion, we erected a huge 40×80’ tent, reminiscent of Bryant Park and NY Fashion week.

Check out our models stomping it out at the Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge

This gave us the opportunity to create the venue from scratch, contingent on our own specifications and needs.  A two day load in process – subfloor, draping and par cans galore!

Behind the Scenes with Caravents at the Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge

Marie Claire Magazine also donated $10 per attendee to Project Blessings where proceeds will go to tornado victims.

Our final stop brought us to Austin, TX – where music and hipsters fill the streets.  Here, we transformed a rock n’ roll hot spot: Mohawk Austin, into a chic and crisp VIP event space.

…but still stayed true to the look and feel of Austin.

Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge - Texas

In the Green Room (literally) girls were made over by the LOFT® stylists and Austin’s own makeup and hair team.

Hair and Makeup Marie Claire™ Front Row Challenge-Texas

All in all – it was exciting to watch the shows come together , with students who are young, edgy, talented and smart – just like the readers of Marie Claire.  We got to work with a whole new slew of vendors, meet new friends, explore some great cities, and eat some AMAZING barbeque.  Thanks for a great show – and good luck to all the finalists! Winner is announced on Dec. 1 on!